The NHL’s free agent period is set to open up a week today and there will be PLENTY of big names on the board for general managers looking to do some July 1st shopping. Of course, stars like Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene and Sergei Bobrovsky will command the most attention, but there are still a lot of solid secondary options for teams should they miss out on the top dogs. Players like Joe Pavelski, Gustav Nyquist and Marcus Johansson should generate some interest.
Another player expected to hit the market, perhaps surprisingly, is New York Islanders captain Anders Lee. The 28 year old forward just capped off his four year, $15 million deal with another solid campaign, potting 28 goals and 51 points in 82 games. Negotiations with the Islanders have reportedly stalled and Lee is expected to meet with three NHL teams ahead of the July 1st opening of free agency.
So… who are those teams? NHL insider David Pagnotta reports Lee will meet with the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild and Montreal Canadiens.
Of those teams, it seems like the Wild may have the inside track as they have a TON of cap space and Lee is a Minnesota native. Could we actually see the Islanders lose their captain for a second offseason in a row?